Jan 6 Committee Aims Massive Doc Request Squarely At Trump

Trump supporters near the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. The protesters stormed the historic building, breaking windows and clashing with police. Trump supporters had gathered in the nation's cap... Trump supporters near the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. The protesters stormed the historic building, breaking windows and clashing with police. Trump supporters had gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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August 25, 2021 12:08 p.m.

The House Jan. 6 Committee sent a vast document request on Wednesday, demanding that eight federal agencies provide information relating to former President Trump’s involvement in the Capitol insurrection.

The panel is asking for documents that include Trump White House records held by the National Archives and Records Administration, as well as documents from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and Interior.

The committee also directed its requests towards the intelligence and national security communities, asking for information from the FBI, Director of National Intelligence, and National Counterterrorism Center.

The panel wants records encompassing Trump’s activities, movements, and meetings on Jan. 6, as well as documents and communications from April 1, 2020 until the end of Trump’s term having to do with attempts to contest the 2020 election results and to “delay or impede” the electoral count.

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“Our Constitution provides for a peaceful transfer of power, and this investigation seeks to evaluate threats to that process, identify lessons learned and recommend laws, policies, procedures, rules, or regulations necessary to protect our republic in the future,” panel Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) wrote in a letter to the archives.

The requests appear to capture dozens of angles relating to Trump’s broad attempt at securing his hold on power by blocking the results of the 2020 election from going into force.

This includes elements of the scandal that are well-known — the removal of U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia BJ Pak, for example, and Trump’s interactions with a host of Georgia officials in a bid to overturn election results in the state. The requests also encompass communications between the White House and Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, as well as Trump 2020 campaign workers like Brad Parscale and pollster Tony Fabrizio.

But the panel also latches on to characters that have appeared to be more peripheral, asking for communications with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), for example.

Other components of the insurrection attempt — including potential coordination with extremist groups — fall under the request’s ambit, with Congress asking for White House documents relating to QAnon, the Proud Boys, Stop the Steal, Oath Keepers, or Three Percenters.

Congressional investigators are also pursuing information about attempts to involve the DOJ, asking for communications with former attorney general Bill Barr about attempts to overturn the election.

From the DOJ itself, the requests offer a vertigo-inducing diagram of what came close to transpiring.

Investigators ask, in sequence, for documents relating to attempts to designate the DOJ as the lead agency for Jan. 6 security preparations, internal DOJ concerns about the government’s ability to respond to Jan. 6, questions about how and where to place law enforcement and military personnel on Jan. 6, issues around the application of martial law in the U.S., and documents “relating to defying orders from the President.”

The DOJ request also asks for “all documents and communications referring or relating to events that could or ultimately did transpire on January 6, 2021” apart from those already requested — effectively demanding everything relating to the insurrection in the DOJ’s possession.

Trump elevated numerous political appointees during the transition period to high-ranking positions within the Department of Defense and across the intelligence community and in federal law enforcement.

The panel wants information about the circumstances of those appointments from the Defense Department, DNI, DHS, FBI, and DOJ.

But in the request to the Pentagon, Congress singles out Kash Patel, the former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) aide-turned-acting chief of staff to the secretary of defense in the final weeks of the Trump administration.

The panel wants documents and communications involving Patel “relating to civil unrest, violence, or attacks at the U.S. Capitol; challenging, overturning, or questioning the validity of the 2020 election results; or the counting of the electoral college vote on January 6, 2021.”

Investigators appear to be homing in as well on potential plans to use the military to stage a coup that would have kept Trump in power. The request states nearly as much, asking the Pentagon for information about “the potential use of military power to impede or ensure the peaceful transfer of power” during the entire transition period.

That includes requests for any discussions within the DoD about martial law, information about a Jan. 4 phone call in which military leaders discussed revoking the permits for Jan. 6 demonstrations at the Capitol, and what role Trump and Vice President Mike Pence may have had in deploying the D.C. National Guard to the Capitol.

The National Archives request also includes a long list of people involved in organizing events on Jan. 6, asking for communications records between them and the White House.

That ranges from Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio to South Florida PR consultant Karyn Turk, and includes rally organizer Cindy Chafian as well as Bernie Kerik, Alex Jones, and Roger Stone.

The panel wants responses to the requests by Sept. 9.

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